5 LU basketball players suspended for hazing: Lambda

Five veteran players from Laurentian University's Voyageurs men's basketball team have been suspended over allegations of hazing, according to an article printed by the school's English student newspaper the Lambda. But no one from the university has corroborated the story.

Players do not think rookie ceremony events 'should be considered hazing,' Jessica Robinson says

The Lambda editor-in-chief, Jessica Robinson, first broke the story about five basketball players who have been suspended from their team over hazing allegations. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

Five veteran players from Laurentian University's Voyageurs men's basketball team have been suspended over allegations of hazing, according to an article printed by the school's English student newspaper the Lambda. But no one from the university has confirmed the story with CBC News. 

Calls and messages sent to the university's administration, athletics department and team players have not been returned. 

The Lambda's editor-in-chief, Jessica Robinson, said she found out about the suspensions after receiving an inquiry from someone outside of campus, who asked why the team pulled out of the Nipissing University homecoming tournament one day before it was scheduled to play. 

"It was surprising, I guess more than anything, because you always assume that the school would want to put out a statement or want to crack down on those sort of rumours or investigations prior to having it get out with other universities," Robinson told CBC News. 

"I've never had a story where someone from outside Laurentian was telling me about things that happened inside."

'Code of conduct is too general'

The hazing allegations stem from a Sept. 24 rookie night ceremony that introduced new athletes to veterans, according to Robinson.

But the specifics of the so-called hazing incident have not been made public. 

"Nothing has been shared in terms of specifics, as to the activities that in this scenario are being constituted as hazing," Robinson said. 

"What [the players] have said adamantly is that they do not think that the events that took place should be considered hazing. That they feel that the code of conduct is too general."

The university's student-athlete handbook defines hazing as: "Any action taken or situation created as part of initiation to or continued membership on a team, which produces or could be expected to produce mental or physical discomfort, harm, stress, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Or which violates LU policy, the LU Student Code of Conduct, the Student Athlete Code of Conduct or law."

Robinson told CBC News the players are fighting their suspensions.